NEW YORK, N.Y. ( – Retailers breathed a sigh of relief today as early Black Friday numbers indicated same-store tramplings were up 22 percent over last year.

Retailers exchange high-fives after setting a one-day record for sales-related asphyxiations.

Despite the bleak economy, consumers ventured out early to stampede over the bruised, lifeless bodies of weaker shoppers in order to take advantage of deep holiday discounts, often as much as 50 percent. Some stores reported bodies stacked up three and four deep within 20 minutes of opening their doors, the largest jump in a decade. Apple outlets were particularly hard hit.
“My God, people are dying!” screamed Chicago Apple Store manager Ingrid Varney, as shoppers broke through a barricade to reach an iPad display. “We’ll need more cashiers!”
Accurate Black Friday sales figures will not be available for several weeks, but observers say same-store tramplings are the best early indicator of consumer spending.
“I don’t think sales themselves were up 22 percent, but I think this is a positive sign,” said retail analyst Beverly Lindsay. “Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I think the American consumer is back. Well, not all of them. Not the dead ones. Obviously.”
Shoppers in a crush outside a Virginia mall.

Wal-Mart reported 342 casualties, including 61 greeters, by noon Friday, a ten-fold increase. But Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke urged caution. “Most of our stores opened at midnight, which may have artificially inflated our numbers a little,” he said. “But we can say demand was vicious. Happy holidays.”
Statistically, there were actually fewer stampedes this year than last, which should have led to a drop in tramplings. But Lindsay said the seeming contradiction is easily explained: “Yes, there were fewer stampedes, but people are heavier and slower this year, which evened things out.”
In Morristown, Pa., Best Buy salesman Marvin Hamerlen said he will never look at Black Friday the same way again. “To be honest, I had kind of lost my holiday cheer,” said Hamerlen. “But then I saw all these idiots squashed together, dying to get in, and I thought, ‘Wow, it’s true what they say. You really can’t spell Christmas without ‘cram shit’.”

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